Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Eating Animals ” as Want to Read:
Eating Animals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Eating Animals

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  46,387 Ratings  ·  4,997 Reviews
Like many young Americans, Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. As he became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set o ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published September 2010 by Hachette Book Group USA (first published October 31st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Eating Animals, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Chris “While it is always possible to wake a person who's sleeping, no amount of noise will wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.”
Marco My girlfriend gifted this to me and I then became a vegetarian. She's of Indian decent and has been vegetarian since birth. The book gives you a…moreMy girlfriend gifted this to me and I then became a vegetarian. She's of Indian decent and has been vegetarian since birth. The book gives you a pretty clear look into the gruesomeness of the meat industry. After I read this, I watched the video "Meet Your Meat" and that sealed the deal for me.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 03, 2009 dara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to dara by: Jonathan Safran Foer's previous writing
This isn't as much of a review of Jonathan Safran Foer's latest book as it is a reaction to it--a reaction to the reactions of others, even. The title of this book garners a reaction from people who haven't read it and who may never read it. Just carry Eating Animals around for a few days and you'll understand. There's an assumption that a book about eating animals is going to tell you that it is in some way wrong to eat animals--whether for the welfare of animals or for your own welfare--and mo ...more
Raeleen Lemay
May 03, 2016 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book should be required reading in America. No joke.
Oct 10, 2009 brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

i can't review this book. can't even finish it. the page-count to tears-shed ratio is just too high. and my head's not in the right place for this shit. (and talk about preaching to the choir…) -- i haven't read jonathan safran foer's novels and fuckoff what he's ever written or what he ever will write: he's a great man for this book alone. he's a great man by default, perhaps, because most people are such evil and miserable cunts. but, no. set apart from a race of miserable cunts he
Nov 04, 2009 JSou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I am not a vegetarian. Honestly, I've never even tried to be a vegetarian at any point in my life. I love steak. I love bacon. I love sushi. I could go on, but you get the idea.

With my son not being able to have any sort of gluten or artificial coloring in the food he eats, I've always thought I was doing good by stopping by the actual farmer's stand to get fresh eggs and some fruit & veggies (one benefit of living in a small, hick town) and then picking up my nicely-packaged and already but
Lisa Vegan
Nov 05, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody 16+; anyone who’s in a position to decide for themselves what to consume
Recommended to Lisa by: Christina
I was torn how to rate this book. It isn’t perfect (I noted many flaws in its comprehensiveness) but it’s amazing enough, so 5 stars it is.

I’ve read so many books such as this but none for a while, and it’s because reading about how humans use animals is so devastating for me. It’s not just the books’ contents, it’s knowing that, at most, only 1% of Americans feel as I do, that my feelings and beliefs are shared by so few (The latest statistics I have are that 3% of Americans are truly vegetaria
Aug 21, 2009 Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Michael Pollan
Recommended to Sparrow by: JSF? No need for a recommendation
I don’t mean this dismissively, but I feel like I finally get what Charlton Heston meant when he cried out, “Soylent Green is people!! It’s peeeeople!” Just . . . I don’t know. That movie’s pretty silly, but I keep walking around the house feeling like all those years that I ate meat, I was really eating human souls. And I even knew almost all of this information before reading the book. I know I’m being dramatic, as per usual, but there really is something about food that brings out both the be ...more
Feb 04, 2010 mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i've long flirted with vegetarianism. for a few months in the early '00s, i even dated her. but i'd never truly wanted to spend all of my time with her, send her flowers, or introduce her to my parents (and everyone i've ever cared about) until i read this book.

foer claims early on that he hasn't set out to write a book about why people should become vegetarians, an argument that holds zero ounces of water once you actually start reading his descriptions of factory farms. i found it impossible t
Books Ring Mah Bell
Nov 16, 2009 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Well done, Jonathan Safran Foer, well done.
(your book, not steak)

Look, I love meat. I really do. I hate myself for that, but I love meat. I also deplore seeing living creatures suffer. (I'm the jerk that lets spiders out of the house instead of squishing them.) I also know that if I had to kill the animal myself, I'd be a veggie for sure. I'm a total sucker for animals, but not enough of a sucker, I guess.

In junior high, I became a "crazy animal rights/environmentalist tree worshiping bunny hugg
May 13, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, non-fiction, owned
I realize I finished this book 10 days ago and have not rated it...and I also can't stop thinking about it.

There's a lot I could say about this book and how much it made me think-it's completely riddled with highlighter-but honestly, most people I know wouldn't bother picking this up no matter what I say. We eat animals because we're too selfish and stubborn to change. We eat animals because we're too lazy to make the "inconvenient" choices. We eat animals because we've been told over and over
“For us to maintain our way of living, we must tell lies to each other and especially to ourselves. The lies are necessary because, without them, many deplorable acts would become impossibilities.”
-Derrick Jensen

People cannot talk about their food choices without resorting to a narrative, and I’m no different. Food is so intensely personal; we relate to it on such an elemental level, that it’s easy to understand. The foods we eat are part of the mythos we use to delineate our identities. We eat
Nov 13, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: upwithfood, read2010
In his book Heat, Bill Buford reflects (as he prepares to butcher a pig) that he has always respected vegetarians for being among the few who actually think about meat.

In Eating Animals, JSF doesn't seem to respect much of anybody, other than his grandmother and Kafka. For all the promising ethical paths he walks down, from traditional animal husbandry to Bill Niman's sustainable beef to animal rights activism, he's so determined to shit on everyone else's ideas about eating meat that I'm not s
Jan 13, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a vegetarian for a few years now, and it was a long process that brought me here (literally too, I didn’t go cold turkey). I’m sometimes surprised by how little I thought about certain things throughout my life. And coming from someone who grew up with a face in a book, and his head in the clouds, I find this interesting. I over-thought and over-analyzed everything (or at least everything I thought about). I spent my days thinking about fantasy worlds and the future, about girls and re ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hear are my thoughts in order as I was reading this book....

1. OMG.....OMFG!

2. I'm a vegatarian!

3. I can never have my favorite Mongolian Chicken from Mings again (snif).

Yes in that order. I have not eaten meat since half way through this book. Will it stick? I hope so.

Not only the mind numbing crulety of the factory farms (which is plenty), and the enviormental damage they cause, but the shear crap they feed the animals did it for me. H1N1....factory farms. traced back to a hog farm
Joana - Ler Com Lobos
Se pudesse escolher um livro que todos deviam ler seria este. Há tanto para dizer e discutir sobre ele... É chocante, chorei ao ser confrontada com a realidade mas foi importante porque é muito fácil olhar só para o que está à nossa volta sem pensar muito... Vamos ao supermercado, vimos lá carne e peixe e levamos para casa. Nem pensamos de onde vieram, como foram criados. E é fácil aceitar as coisas sem as questionar porque crescemos a ouvir certas ideias.

Cresci com os meus avós a criarem desde

The title alone may scare off those who’d rather not know how their meat got from farm to table, but Eating Animals is one of those books that’s too important not to read. This is part memoir, part journalistic investigation, but the book is strongest when going inside slaughterhouses and educating, exposing the truth of something heinous beyond imagining. When people think of farms, idyllic Charlotte’s Web—like images might spring to mind, but according to Eating Animals, the f
I am floating this again (last time! Swear!), this time for the Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge. Day whatever I am on asks for a book that changed your life. I... don't know that I have ever read a book that really changed my life. But this one comes the closest.

That sounds a little dippy, but really. For years, I had skittered around the margins of vegetarianism. I'd forgo meat the majority of the time, perhaps even the vast majority, but I didn't have really concrete reasons as to why. Health?
Jun 26, 2013 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
“If Nothing Matters, There's Nothing to Save”
- Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals


I'm going to have to chew on this book for a bit. I'm not sure a review the day after reading will fully vest what I plan on doing after reading this. I might be about ready to go veg, but there is something just annoying enough about JSF that almost wants to keep me eating meat just to piss him off. Nah, that really isn't true, but I wish it was.

The book isn't as well-written as I would have liked. It gave me w
Jun 11, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Eating animals about eating animals..and much much more. I've always felt wrong for eating meat yet continued to do so. For some reason, I thought it would be so hard to give up. Over time my conscience spoke louder than my fears (denials) and the ball has been rolling ever since. I wanted some extra encouragement, so I ordered this book.

I knew about slaughter houses and what goes on: to an extent. Little did I know, I really knew nothing. I've ingested this food all my life! HOLYYYYYY SH
Dec 25, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-affairs
Addendum 2/11/10 at bottom, edited to remove some grammatical errors 5/20/10

For Feb reading club. This NYTimes science article should help heat things up:

Joint review with Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma

Let's see, things we can't or shouldn't eat: butter, steak, meat, spinach because of the salmonella (or maybe it's only the organic spinach that gets contaminated), apples because of the alar, salt, sugar, fat, any food not bought at a farmer's market, any foo
Nov 10, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book has changed my life, albeit in a really f*cking inconvenient way. I've read Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation and all the types of books that people who are trying to be socially conscious are supposed to read, and I know about the horrors of factory farming and how brutally animals are treated in the course of getting to my plate. But somehow it's been easier to live with it and ignore it in the past; Pollan even gives you a convenient out at the end of his book, wh ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't have the highest opinion of this book or its author when I first heard of it. But since I've been heading toward a sort of not-very-militant veganism lately, I decided to give it a go when I saw a copy online for a penny plus shipping. It's a worthwhile read, especially as a moral argument -- that is, it's commendable as a somewhat formally inventive elaboration of the timeless conflict between wrong and right. The author's Judaic heritage helps him out in this sense, plus there's the h ...more
Edit 04/15/13

"About thirty years ago the poultry industry convinced the UDSA to reclassify feces so that it could continue to use automatic eviscerators (where fecal contamination occurs from high-speed machines ripping open the birds' intestines, releasing feces into their body cavities). Feces are now classified as a "cosmetic blemish."

What does this mean (other than the fact that consumers are eating chicken shit)? Inspectors condemn half the number of birds. So, according to journalist Scot
Virginia Messina
There is no way that any compassionate and responsible person could read this book and not want to begin taking steps to end his or her contributions to factory farming.

Jonathan Safron Foer is not an animal rights activist and that’s not what this book is about. At the same time, it is not another Omnivore’s Dilemma, either. Eating Animals is a much more honest analysis of factory farming and it is also far more honest about the solutions. (In fact, it’s fair to say that this book makes Pollan
Oct 08, 2009 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This was a difficult but amazing read and in my opinion one of the most powerful books on this topic. I encourage and challenge you all to read it! Seriously if I could give everyone I know a copy of this book, I would. <3

Jonathan Safran Foer, who is probably most known for his book Everything Is Illuminated, has returned with his first non-fiction book. The topic: Foer's off and on struggle with vegetarianism and what prompted him to make the switch for good (the birth of his son). Throughou
Jan 03, 2011 Les rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I typically rate books and do not write reviews. Why should I throw my two cents in about a topic when everyone else has probably said the same thing--and more eloquently? Do I need to repeat what has already been written just so I can see my name somewhere? It feels narcissistic. Or perhaps that is just a good excuse for not being able to add anything new?

This one is hard to leave without a review or reflection though. I am not even sure what a rating matters in this instance. I could give it a
Nov 15, 2009 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I can say this book was amazing. This is a different kind of five star rating. But it is probably one of the most important. Foer is the first author to (successfully and/or popularly) consider the human impetus for storytelling and forgetting alongside the alarming facts of animal industry. I wish I had written this book (a little differently perhaps, but I still wish I had). But then it wouldn't have the impact that only a bestselling author can have. Condemning, creative, direct, ...more
I can't possibly finish this book. It makes me cry, feel disgusted and literally nauseated. I can only try to always be aware, a good vegetarian and support animal rights as much as I can.
Viv JM
Eating Animals is a very worthy book. It provides an unflinching look at the realities of factory farming in particular as well as discussing some of the moral dilemmas around eating meat and the treatment of animals raised and slaughtered for our plates. I like that JSF acknowledges that what we eat is not always a rational choice but is very much a social one, associated with a great deal of shared storytelling. He does show some compassion for those that choose to eat meat, but makes it clear ...more
Mar 03, 2010 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Oh, Jonathan Safran Foer! What I'd love to know is whether you became a self-important, self-indulgent, and self-righteous jackass BEFORE or AFTER you became an international writing sensation. My guess is, after, when you'd already retreated into the overpriced clucky dreamworld of Park Slope. Because I can't see the voice behind the poignant, beautiful passages of Everything Is Illuminated penning the divorced-from-the-world fawning drivel of Eating Animals.

I wish I had never picked up this bo
Dec 10, 2009 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food
What could have been an informative, decent book on animal welfare and the environmental impact of our current factory farming system is marred by the author's need to be clever and add some unconventional pages to his book. I ended up just glossing past those pages. There's no doubt that Jonathan Safran Foer has done his research on the USDA, large slaughterhouses, major factory farms, and smaller back-to-old-fashioned-husbandry farmers. All this information is valuable to make an informed deci ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
#unpresidentedrea...: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer 2 7 Feb 19, 2017 11:48AM  
Uncovered Book Club: Eating Animals (Raeleen's Pick- May/June 2016) 38 549 Jun 10, 2016 09:25AM  
Has this changed your eating habits 17 281 Apr 12, 2016 12:49PM  
In Defense of Foo...: Eating Animals 1 36 Jun 06, 2013 08:11PM  
Skipping Thanksgiving Turkey This Year? 33 189 Mar 13, 2013 04:08PM  
  • The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food
  • Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others
  • Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food
  • Animal Liberation
  • Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat
  • Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World
  • Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry
  • Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World
  • Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating
  • The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World
  • The Animal Activist's Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today's World
  • Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?
  • The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Intellectual, Emotional and Social Capacities
  • Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals
  • Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly
  • The Case for Animal Rights
  • Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment
  • Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of two bestselling, award-winning novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and a bestselling work of nonfiction, Eating Animals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
More about Jonathan Safran Foer...

Share This Book

“While it is always possible to wake a person who's sleeping, no amount of noise will wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.” 428 likes
“Not responding is a response - we are equally responsible for what we don't do.” 385 likes
More quotes…